Primera Liga round-up
Barcelona and Madrid win; Valencia stumble
By Subhankar Mondal. Last Updated: September 24, 2011 11:09pm
Both Barcelona and Real Madrid returned to winning ways on Saturday as they registered comprehensive victories in the Primera Liga.
Click the links below for individual match stats
Champions Barca were held to a 2-2 draw by Valencia at the Mestalla in midweek but found Atletico Madrid to be no match for them, running out comfortable 5-0 winners at Camp Nou.
David Villa opened the scoring for the hosts after just nine minutes with a neat finish before Miranda netted an own goal six minutes later.
Then in the 26th minute Lionel Messi found the target to make it 3-0, and it could have been 4-0 to the Blaugrana before the break had Cesc Fabregas' attempt from distance not hit the Atletico crossbar.
However, it did become 4-0 to the Catalan giants late in the second session when Messi ran past the Atleti defence to complete his brace. The Argentina international forward accomplished his hat-trick in injury time.
Pep Guardiola's side have now collected 11 points from five matches, one fewer than leaders Real Betis, who have a game in hand.
Barcelona's bitter rivals Real too won on Saturday but not before surviving an early scare at home to Rayo Vallecano.
Miguel Perez Cuesta (Michu) gave the visitors the lead at the Santiago Bernabeu with this season's fastest goal, but Jose Mourinho's team staged a comeback thereafter, winning 6-2 on the night despite going down to 10 men.
Cristiano Ronaldo restored parity for Los Blancos on 39 minutes and Gonzalo Higuain scored his side's second on the stroke of half time
Real netted their third goal of the evening six minutes into the second session when Ronaldo blasted home a penalty, but Michu found the target from just yards out four minutes later.
The Spanish giants were reduced to 10 men seconds later when Angel di Maria was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence.
However, Real subsequently scored two more goals through Raphael Varane and Karim Benzema in quick succession, and Ronaldo completed his hat-trick six minutes from time from the spot to wrap up a 6-2 win.
It was the Madrid giants' first victory in three league fixtures and places them two points off the pace.
Valencia lost their first league game of the season as they went down 1-0 to Sevilla at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in what a very eventful encounter.
Frederic Kanoute's goal after just 18 minutes eventually proved to be the difference between the two teams, but no fewer than three players were sent off in the second half.
First to go was Piotr Trochowski of Sevilla 11 minutes into the restart and team-mate Julien Escude followed him on 68 minutes.
Escude's dismissal resulted in a penalty for Valencia, but Ever Banega hit against the post and failed to convert.
Unai Emery then saw one of his own players leave the pitch when Aritz Aduriz was given his marching orders for Los Che three minutes later.
The result in Seville means that the Andalucian giants are now a point clear of Valencia with 11 points, just one behind city rivals Betis.
Athletic Bilbao and Villarreal both have made slow starts to the 2011/12 campaign and neither would be very happy with their 1-1 draw at San Mames.
Igor Gabilondo gave the Basque giants the lead two minutes before the half-time interval but Nilmar equalised for the Yellow Submarine in the 53rd minute. Bilbao had Borja Ekiza sent off with nine minutes of normal time left on the clock.